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"The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D"

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"The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D"

Old 06-13-05, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillips
Anaglyph has NEVER, EVER been the predominent way to release 3-D films, and certainly not preferred. Polarized, clear glasses 3-D has always been the standard. 99% of all 3-D movies ever were released in polarized, even 50 years ago.

Every single one of the 51 3-D movies released from 1952-55, about two dozen more in 1981-85, and most of them in between were released polarized. SHARK BOY is only the fourth major film to ever be released in anaglyph, after THE MASK (1961), FREDDY'S DEAD (1991) and SPY KIDS 3-D (2003).

Besides these few partial 3-D films, a handful of porno titles were also released in the 70s, but only on a very limited basis. Some of the older, usually black and white, 3-D movies were also later downconverted to anaglyph for re-issue or TV showings but those versions are horrible and look nothing like the originals.

Polarized 3-D does require a silver screen, installation of some additional lenses, and a careful projectionist. It's that last part that is really the issue; today most theatres are not inclined to spend the extra money or go to the bother of having anyone monitor the film while it is being screened.

People act like it is so impossible to do, but it isn't. Damn, we had two dozen movies released in polarized 3-D form in the early 80s on a thousand screens at once, so it isn't impossible, it just isn't something the theatres want to bother with these days. We also have to remember that since most films only play in theatres for a short time these days, it is asking a lot for them to install new equipment for one film!

Anaglyph is simple, all the theatres do is hand out the glasses, but the results (especially with color films) are so poor there is little reason to bother with that either.

Digital projection makes quality 3-D easier because it is easier to control, and it can be accomplished with either passive polarized glasses and a silver screen, or with active LCD glasses on a regular white screen. Both provide a full color image, so that's where the future lies.

Leave the anaglyph glasses to the comic books and net pictures. It doesn't work for movies. Hollywood knew that 50 years ago, someone should tell Robert Rodriguez.

Wait to see SHARK BOY AND LAVA GIRL in polarized color 3-D.
okay, sorry "preferred" is obviousily not the right word I should have used.
I just used it because of the 3D films I have seen in the past, they have all been anaglyph:

House of Wax - the 1980's reissue
Starchaser - The Legend of Orin
Jaws 3D

I saw these films in Washington DC surburban theatres (except "Starchaser" /KB Cerebus - Georgetown) where the idea of exhibition cost or presenting a polarized presentation of the film was completely out of the question.

So why was the DLP screening of Spy Kids I saw an anaglyph version, again is this a screen issue? I wonder how this will play out with the planned 3D versions of the Episodes IV-VI, the idea of seeing an anaglph presentation of these sounds horrible.
Old 06-13-05, 12:45 PM
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Giles, I've never heard of any anaglyph version of those films playing anywhere at any time, even on an experimental basis. I've extensively researched the history of 3-D for nearly 25 years, talked to many people in the industry, etc and I don't think it ever happened. If you've got proof, I know some 3-D experts who would love to hear it.

Not to sound like a know it all, but I'm certain your memory is playing tricks on you. All of those film were released in single strip polarized format only. What you may be remembering is one of the many anaglyph TV broadcasts of the time, where you bought your glasses at 7-11, etc.

Polarized 3-D isn't out of the question or prohibitively expensive for even the tiniest mall theatre multi-plex. As I've stated, over 1000 of them at a time showed polarized 3-D in the 80s.

Both SPY KIDS and SHARK BOY are available in an anaglyph DLP version. It's a step up from 35mm, but still fairly simple to project. The DLP polarized version of SHARK BOY has only been seen at the film's premiere so far.

NO WAY will STAR WARS ever see the light of day in an anaglyph version. It will be DLP polarized only, and possibly IMAX, but an anaglyph version is out of the question.

Last edited by Steve Phillips; 06-13-05 at 01:37 PM.
Old 06-13-05, 11:02 PM
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An interesting thing about Robert Rodriguez is he has 11 feature films under his belt (12 if you count Four Rooms). Four are PG (the Spy Kids films and now this), and the rest are all R. So he's done PG and R, but not one PG-13 movie.

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